The Kewaunee County Board’s Land & Water Conservation Committee on Tuesday unanimously recommended an ordinance adopting the new state regulations regarding manure spreading over shallow karst soils.
The rules allow the county to enforce the new rules without having to work through the state Department of Natural Resources, said Davina Bonness, the county Land & Water Department director.
The ordinance, which creates Chapter 39 in the county ordinance book, has the exact same wording as Wisconsin administrative rule NR 151, which sets standards that will apply to manure spreading and other agricultural practices in Silurian bedrock areas like those under Door and Kewaunee counties, Bonness told the committee.
“Chapter 39 is exactly the NR 151 state rules,” Bonness said. “As of July 1, all non-CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) have to follow the new Silurian dolomite standards and prohibitions.”
The biggest thing Boness’ office is trying to enforce is the prohibition on spreading over fields where the soil is 2 feet or less to bedrock, she said. Chapter 39 allows them to include such fields when they are owned or used by CAFOs.
Concentrated animal feeding operations are farms that have 1,000 or more animal units, a unit being defined as 1,000 pounds of livestock. Spreading by those larger farms is covered under their Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permits, which run for five years. The DNR says it doesn’t have the personnel to reopen those permits mid-term to impose the new standards, so it’s being done through the local ordinance, Bonness said.
Calumet County has already passed a similar ordinance, and Brown and Door Counties are working on theirs, she said.
Supervisor Lee Luft said much of the material in the new regulations was promulgated in the DNR workgroups comprised of Kewaunee County citizens, farmers and officials.
“It would bode well for us to say as the Land & Water Conservation Committee that we support the efforts that literally continue to this day,” Luft said.
The ordinance was sent to the full board for consideration at its regular monthly meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.